I’m not much into distributor exclusives. There is not much reason in my view to pay extra for a weapon you simply don’t want to shoot and which may not hold much collector value in the long run. This Ruger Single-Six Convertible Talo Distributor Exclusive appears to be the exception. It was just too beautiful a piece to decline.
But this isn’t the only Single-Six you’re going to see today. Despite it’s exclusivity I had every intention of shooting this Talo edition. Let’s face it, you can’t really hurt stainless all that much anyway, so why not? But you know Ursula. “It’s too pretty to shoot.” “You shouldn’t shoot that one.” “Please don’t shoot that gorgeous pistol.” And so it goes.
So, a mere week later I stumbled across yet another Ruger Single-Six Convertible. This one was in very good condition — the barrel even more so. It had wear, but honest wear. It had both cylinders, but not box or manual. It did, however, have a nice leather holster with obvious wear. But what sealed the deal was the price — $150. Ursula insisted. I relented. The Talo Exclusive will remain unfired. The Single-Six below will take its place at the range:
I had already disassembled the used Single-Six at the store and did a careful examination, including checking the barrel for wear. On getting it home I researched the serial number. It’s a “Pre-Warning” (meaning no “Careful or you’ll shoot your eye out, kid” stamp on the barrel) “New” (meaning it has the safer transfer bar system) Single-Six manufactured in 1976. It looks to be in remarkable shape for a 39-year-old weapon that was obviously carried on hikes and perhaps camping.
More on the old Single-Six later. Let’s get back to the Talo Exclusive. The model number for this particular exclusive is 0676, and Talo has christened it the Single-Six Cowboy design. It’s easy to see why. I’ll save the details of the multiple scenes engraved on the cylinder for this week’s Fun Photo Friday, but here is a taste of both that engraving and the engraving on the finely crafted wood grips:
I cannot find in any literature where this version had a trigger job coming out of the Ruger Custom Shop, but I can tell you that it certainly feels as though it has. Both Single-Sixes have great single-action triggers, but the Talo Exclusive is much lighter in feel. It doesn’t beat the Uberti El Patrón from Monday’s review, but it certainly outclasses the Colt Mk. IV Series 70. I would estimate the trigger pull at around 3.5 pounds, with no slack take-up and about a millimeter of trigger creep. In other words very, very good. The Single-Six from 1976 trigger differs only in a tad less creep and in having a slightly heavier pull, which I would guess is about a pound more. Still an excellent trigger.
The “Convertible” in the name “Single-Six Convertible” refers to the fact that these weapons come with two cylinders. One is chambered in .22LR and the other is for use with .22 Magnum, a.k.a., .22WMR and .22WMRF for Winchester Magnum Rim Fire.
But be careful. Don’t confuse the two cylinders because .22LR will fit into the .22WMRF cylinder, but the wider chambers will allow the .22LR casing to split and possible damage your weapon. Ruger’s instruction manual advises that the .22LR cylinder is fluted and that the .22WMRF cylinder is smooth and marked “.22 WIN.MAGNUM CAL.” While this is true with the standard Single-Six, it is not with the Talo Exclusive. The non-fluted cylinder on the Talo is for .22LR, and the fluted cylinder houses .22WMRF. Additionally, the fluted cylinder is not prominently stamped along the outside with “.22 WIN.MAGNUM CAL.” as is the standard version. Rather, there is an inconspicuous and easily missed single letter “M” stamped on the loading side of the fluted cylinder.
I can understand Ruger’s reluctance to author and print a new instruction manual for a one-off exclusive, but it is inexcusable in my book that they didn’t at least insert a single sheet warning that the fluted and smooth cylinders have reverse functions, and the fluted cylinder is insufficiently marked. Bad move, Ruger. Take two safety demerits.
Let’s take a look at what comes in the Ruger Single-Six case. You get a fired casing in envelope, a firearm lock, a yellow cylinder disabling flag (you must remove the cylinder to remove this disable device, and it does come installed), two cylinders for .22LR and .22WMRF (the engraved, non-fluted .22LR cylinder is comes installed); a “Thank You for Shopping Ruger” 20% off for accessories card, a “Visit SHOPRUGER.COM” card, an “old” model Ruger recall card, and an instruction manual.
The Single-Six itself is a handsome weapon with excellent fit and finish, adjustable high-profile target sights and finely detailed engraving on the beautifully stained Altamont wood grips. Inserted into the Altamont grips on both sides is the Sturm Ruger crest.
On Fun Photo Friday I’ll have a gallery of all three of this week’s featured firearms, and you’ll see closeups of the cylinder engraving on the Talo Exclusive featured here. Until then, these should tide you over: